A Catholic priest is accused of providing alcohol and marijuana to juveniles, then having sexual contact with a teenager. A court document relates the victim’s description of the sexual contact in vivid detail.
Father Charles "Robert" Manning heard his formal charges in court Thursday after turning himself in May 22. Police refused to divulge the situation surrounding Manning's arrest, but the affidavit relating to his arrest was made available Friday.
Manning is charged with three counts of sex assault on a child by one in a position of trust, two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and two counts of sexual exploitation of children.
The affidavit describes forensic interview with the victim conducted by a detective. The victim described the alleged sexual abuse and drug use involving Father Manning, who he referred to as “grandpa.”
The victim said he was 14 years old when he met the priest in 2009 and began to receive private tutoring in Catholicism. According to the affidavit, the teen said the physical contact didn’t begin until June or July of 2011.
In several incidents, the teen said Manning kissed him goodbye and complimented him as good looking and “hot.” The victim reportedly told the detective that the sexual assault occurred during the last week before he moved away. During that incident, Manning allegedly masturbated and performed fellatio on the child.
Afterward, the teenager told the detective that Manning said, “I’m sorry, I know you didn’t want to do that.”
The affidavit also describes the victim’s stories of other incidents involving the priest. Those accounts detailed drug and alcohol use, watching pornography, buying a car and taking the teenager to get nipple piercings. The piercing business reported that Manning signed as the teenager’s guardian to approve the piercings.
Several items were confiscated from Manning’s residence during a search, including an X-Box with marijuana allegedly hidden inside and a computer containing photos of the teenager showing his nipple piercings. Another photo also depicted an unknown naked male who appeared to be standing on the same rug detectives found in Manning’s office room.
In January 11 News first reported on a sex allegation against Manning. On January 22, we reported he was temporarily suspended from his duties while the investigation was underway.
The Diocese of Colorado Springs says Manning became the pastor of St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Church on June 30, 2007. They say they first received the allegation on January 5, 2012. On January 18, Archbishop Carlson, the Archbishop of St. Louis, suspended Manning's faculties.
The diocese's press release included this statement:
"This is an extremely difficult situation for all. The alleged victim and family have, at all times in their communications with the Diocese, been polite and cooperative. Our hearts go out to them. Our hearts go out to all victims of abuse."
Manning is out of jail on a $10,000 bond.